John Gruber on the now red-hot topic of Nintendo failing:
The trend is clearly toward carrying fewer and fewer devices. The first, a touchscreen smartphone. The second, more and more, a tablet. This desire to carry fewer gadgets is fueling the big-screen phone segment — Why carry a phone and a tablet when you can just carry one device that falls somewhere in-between? the thinking goes.
Point-and-shoot cameras hold their own, technically, against smartphones as well as any of the devices I’ve listed here. They shoot higher quality images and videos. But even there, the market is collapsing. Here’s a Wall Street Journal report from a month ago that suggests point-and-shoot camera sales declined 42 percent in the first five months of this year. That’s the same cliff where DS-style gaming handhelds are heading.
This points to something the Nintendo diehards don’t seem to get: it’s not that Nintendo is necessarily a bad company, it’s that the market is changing around them and they don’t have a lot of good options.
The best gaming device isn’t made by Nintendo anymore because the best gaming device is simply the one you have on you. And that’s now your smartphone.
All of these stand-alone devices are consolidating into your smartphone. So either Nintendo has to come up with a smartphone or a tablet — without the years of experience their competition has — or they have to do something completely different to reverse the trend and make a dedicated gaming device worth owning again. Or die trying.